September is a time for a lot of things – though some went back in August, it marks the month for back to school for many of us. It is also that one month that gives us the transition from Summer to Fall – depending on where you live, the weather isn’t quite hot, but it also isn’t too cool yet either. But September is also a very important month for another reason – Child Passenger Safety Week. And while we should all ALWAYS be conscientious about child and other passenger safety; this week signifies a time that we can spread the message to everyone in mass!
This year, Child Passenger Safety Week runs from September 17-23. With more than 1000 events are expected in 45 states across the country to raise awareness for proper car seat installation and usage, this is a great time to brush up on car seat safety tips and make sure your child is in the right seat, with the right fit and installation.
For most of us, grabbing our gear and running out the door and hoping in the car is an everyday occurrence. Maybe you are headed to work, a play date, or on vacation – but we spend a lot of times in our cars. When we have little ones, we put them in their car seat and buckle them up without a second thought to whether or not they are in the right seat. We trust that they are safe – and we go on our way.
Did you know that every 33 seconds a child under 13 is involved in a car crash in the United States?
Car seats, if used correctly, can dramatically reduce the risk of fatality or injury. But over half of car seats are misused in a way that could reduce their effectiveness and 1 in 3 children killed in car crashes are completely unrestrained at the time of the crash.
Can you imagine? Thinking that your child is in the right car seat, only to find out that they aren’t!
I remember both times when we were leaving the hospital, they checked to make sure we had the seat installed properly. It was so difficult to get it right, but now there are more resources available like NHTSA.gov/TheRightSeat, which has videos about how to install car seats and booster seats correctly and guides to picking the right seat by age and size. Now I am still setting up car seats when I pick my cousin and her kids. She’s pregnant again, as well as my niece, so I know I have a few more years of making sure the seats are installed properly in my car.
The week concludes with “Seat Check Saturday,” where Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will help parents and caregivers make sure their car seats are installed correctly. In most cases, this service is FREE.
Here’s a video that has been helpful for me:
To make sure you have the right seat for your child, visit NHTSA.gov/TheRightSeat, or find a Child Passenger Safety Week event in your area. During Child Passenger Safety Week, many communities will have Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians on-hand to provide education on how to use car seats, booster seats, and seat belts for children. To find events near you, including free car seat checks, visit bit.ly/CPSTech.
*According to 2015 data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).